U.S. diplomat, Latino political leader, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson supports robust travel to Cuba, he announced yesterday while visiting the island to discuss opportunities for greater trade and cultural exchange between New Mexico and Cuba.
"One of our nation's leading Latino voices has joined the chorus supporting the ability of Americans to travel to Cuba," said Geoff Thale, Program Director at the Washington Office on Latin America. "As an experienced Latino elected official and U.S. diplomat, Governor Richardson brings an important perspective to this issue."
Richardson, the first prominent Latino candidate to run for the Democratic nomination for President, withdrew his candidacy in mid January 2009, and threw his support to President Obama who won the Latino vote 2-1 over Sen. John McCain. The approximately 10 million Latin voters who went to the polls in 2008 represented a nearly 25 percent increase from 2004.
As a member of the U.S. Congress in 1996, Richardson met with Cuban's former President Fidel Castro and obtained the release of three Cuban political prisoners. During his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton, Richardson held talks on terrorism with Cuba's then-Foreign Minister, Roberto Robaina.
Photo by Alison Klein via Flickr Creative Commons.